Old Rauma (1991)
Finland

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Situated on the Gulf of Botnia, Rauma is one of the oldest harbours in Finland. Built around a Franciscan monastery, where the mid-15th-century Holy Cross Church still stands, it is an outstanding example of an old Nordic city constructed in wood. Although ravaged by fire in the late 17th century, it has preserved its ancient vernacular architectural heritage.  

Finland 2002. Rauma. Souvenir sheet containing 4 stamps. Finland 2002. Rauma. Stamp #1 from souvenir sheet.

Stamp top left

Finland 2002. Rauma. Stamp #2 from souvenir sheet.

Stamp top right

Finland 2002. Rauma. Stamp #3 from souvenir sheet.

Stamp bottom left

Finland 2002. Rauma. Stamp #4 from souvenir sheet.

Stamp bottom right

Rauma, a small trading centre which developed around a Franciscan monastery, attained the status of a town in 1442. Like a few other towns in Swedish Finland that dated to the same period, Rauma possessed an administrative organisation. The development of Rauma was threatened by a series of fires and a royal edict in 1550. Its citizens, like those of the towns of Ulvila, Porvoo and Tammisaari, were forced to leave in order to populate Helsinki, the new foundation of the King of Sweden, Gustavus Vasa; it wasn't until 1557 that they were authorised to return.

Other fires in 1640 and 1682, as well as an isostatic uplifting that increased the distances from the city to its wood export port, left their toll on the evolution of Rauma's urban landscape. In the 17th century, a customs fence was erected around the city, and this limited its expansion. Planning regulations, which were based on an orthogonal layout, also influenced the city's development. When the troops of Peter the Great invaded Finland during the Great Wrath of 1713-1721, Rauma was subjected to much damage.
  • Finland 1992. Rauma, 500th anniversary of City Rights. 

Finland 1992. Rauma. 500th anniversary of City Rights.

During the final years of the sailing ship era in the 1890s, Rauma enjoyed great prosperity. For a while, it possessed Finland's first sailing fleet. The majority of the buildings in the historic city are inspired by the Neo-Renaissance style. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Finland (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Finland for further information about the individual properties.   

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Revised 21 jul 2006  
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